Friday, September 11, 2009

New Ink! Now with Extra Geek










































I hope that you'll all recognize those equations more-or-less instantly. If not, be educated here. As I put it to the artist last night: "These are probably the most complicated things I'll ever actually understand."

(That same artist pointed out the awesome symmetry of getting the equations that describe electromagnetism tattooed using a electromagnet, which drives the needle.)

Upon getting back to engineering and E&M specifically, I've remembered how much I loved that part of being a physicist. I'm very lucky that my engineering job also deals with those phenomena to some extent. I was reflecting the other day on how aesthetically beautiful these equations are, and a lot of E&M math tends to be that way. That's when my ideas for my next set of tattoos (which I'd been pondering for about three years) finally fell in to place.

So my plans for my upper back have finally crystalized, and I've started the process of getting my ideas for a more complete back panel into the form of actual art instead of just nebulous concepts. That part will take a little longer, but with any luck will be done by the end of the year.

BTW, in my web-surfing meanderings before getting this tattoo done, I tripped across a science tattoo emporium. Hours of entertainment, and the realization that I'm nowhere near the craziest geek out there followed. Also, relatively few people choose these equations for their tattoos. Much more popular is e^(i(pi)) + 1 = 0. Fair enough.

5 comments:

Tim Akers said...

That's spectacularly cool.

John D. said...

Though I'm somehow reminded of Memento...

Karen Burnham said...

Thanks guys! Although back tattoos wouldn't have done the Memento guy much good--when I had to use the double-mirror trick to check the placement and make sure I liked the look (before they put down the permanent ink) I was glad I'd been taking yoga!

AAron said...

Super cool! The Maxwell equations are my next favorite after F=dp/dt (which a more useful version of F=ma for rocket folk). See you next month.

Karen Burnham said...

AAron- thanks! It's funny how different formulations work for different applications. There's another formulation of these that EE people use that's actually a little more compact and balanced, but it uses B, H, E and D instead of B, E, and J. Having done more of this stuff as a physicist, D & H just aren't intuitive to me (yet), so I went with the longer physics formulae instead. And of course I had to make the most important decision: integral or differential form!